Dr. Jeremy Hirota

Division of Respirology

Jeremy Alexander Hirota


Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology (Tier 2)

Assistant Professor, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine

Affiliate Professor, Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of British Columbia




Research Interests

Respiratory mucosal immunology, environmental exposures, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, airway epithelial cells, ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) Transporters commercialization of research, science communication.

Personal Interests

Enjoys everything outdoors – trail running, road running, mountain biking, road cycling, snowboarding, fishing, kayaking, and camping to name a few.

Education and Training History

Dr. Hirota received his PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology from McMaster University in the lab of Dr. Mark Inman at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, where he studied mechanisms of airway remodeling in mouse models of allergen exposure. Dr. Hirota then pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia at the James Hogg Research Centre under the supervision of Dr. Darryl Knight, where he studied airway epithelial cell biology and innate immunity. While at UBC, Dr. Hirota transitioned to the supervision of Drs. Chris Carlsten and Don Sin for a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, where he combined his in vivo and in vitro training to address how air pollution can impact chronic respiratory diseases. In January 2015, Dr. Hirota joined faculty at UBC in the Department of Medicine in the Division of Respiratory Medicine. In 2015, Dr. Hirota received the American Thoracic Society Ann Woolcock Memorial Award for future promise in asthma research and a CIHR New Investigator Award. In November 2016, Dr. Hirota returned to McMaster University where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Respirology, within the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health.

Hirota Lab Research Summary

The Hirota Lab aims to develop an internationally recognized translational research program in respiratory mucosal immunology focused on lung health and disease. The Hirota Lab uses a translational research strategy with in vitro cell culture models, in vivo pre-clinical models, and clinical studies. The lab research is guided by three mutually reinforcing foci: i) patient oriented research on respiratory mucosal immunology in health and disease, ii) small molecule drug discovery programs for commercialization opportunities, and iii) pure basic science characterization of the biology behind innate immune receptor and related signalling pathways. Presently, the major focus of the Hirota Lab is on ABC Transporters in the respiratory mucosa.

Ongoing Research Projects in the Hirota Lab

  1. ABCC4 as a modulator of cyclic-AMP in airway epithelial cells – an unexplored anti-inflammatory mechanism relevant in chronic respiratory diseases
  2. The links between ABCC4 and CFTR – Precision medicine approaches in Cystic Fibrosis
  3. Development and validation of a novel 3D printed model of a human airway for drug development assays
  4. The role of ABCF1 as a novel antiviral sensor in human airway epithelial cells
  5. Development of an organ-on-a-chip microfludic device for precision medicine in cystic fibrosis

Selected Publications (please email me at hirotaja@mcmaster.ca if you need a copy)

  1. Bazett M, Biala A, Huff RD, Bosiljcic M, Gunn H, Kalyan S, Hirota JA (2016). A novel microbe-based treatment that attenuates the inflammatory profile in a mouse model of allergic airway disease. Scientific Reports September 2016. doi: 10.1038/srep35338 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27734946
  2. Carlsten C, Blomberg A, Mankoo J, Pui M, Sandstrom T, Wong SW, Alexis N, Hirota JA (2016). Diesel Exhaust Augments Allergen-Induced Airway Inflammation: Controlled Human Crossover Study. Thorax ;71(1):35-44
  3. Gold MJ, Hiebert PR, Park HY, Stefanowicz D, Le A, Starkey MR, Deane A, Brown AC, Liu G, Horvat JC, Ibrahim ZA, Sukkar MB, Hansbro PM, Carlsten C, VanEeden S, Sin DD, McNagny KM, Knight DA, Hirota JA (2016). Mucosal production of uric acid by airway epithelial cells contributes to particulate matter induced allergic sensitization. Mucosal Immunology. 9:809-20.
  4. Hirota JA, Marchant DJ, Singhera GK, Moheimani F, Dorscheid DR, Carlsten C, Sin D, Knight D
    (2015).Urban particulate matter increases human airway epithelial cell IL-1β secretion following scratch wounding and H1N1 influenza A exposure in vitro. Experimental Lung Research. 41:353-62
  5. Hirota JA, Carlsten C, Sadatsafavi M, Kaplan G, Hirota SA (2015). Airway diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases: is it something in the air (pollution)? European Respiratory Journal. 46(1):287-8.
  6. Hirota JA, Gold MJ, Hiebert PR, Parkinson LG, Wee T, Smith D, Hansbro PM, Carlsten C, VanEeden S, Sin DD, McNagny KM, Knight DA (2015). The NLRP3 inflammasome/IL-1RI axis mediates innate immune but not adaptive immune responses following PM10 exposure. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. 52(1):96-105
  7. Hirota JA, Alexis NE, Pui M, Wong S, Fung E, Hansbro P, Knight DA, Sin DD, Carlsten C.
    (2014). An in vitro airway epithelial cell and dendritic cell culture model: Human airway epithelial cells exposed to urban particulate matter activate primary human dendritic cells. Respirology. 19(6):881-90.
  8. Hirota JA, Knight DA (2012). Human airway epithelial cell innate immunity. Current Opinion in Immunology. 24(6):740-6.
  9. Hirota JA, Hirota SA, Warner SM, Stefanowicz D, Shaheen F, Beck PL, Macdonald JA, Hackett TL, Sin DD, Van Eeden S, Knight DA (2012). The airway epithelium NLRP3 inflammasome is activated by urban particulate matter. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 129(4):1116-1125.
  10. Huff RD, Rider CF, Yan D, Newton R, Giembycz MA, Carlsten C, Hirota JA. Inhibition of ABCC4 potentiates combination beta agonist and glucocorticoid responses in human airway epithelial cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Dec 5. pii: S0091-6749(17)31667-6.
  11. Huff RD, Hsu AC, Nichol KS, Jones B, Knight DA, Wark PAB, Hansbro PM, Hirota JA. Regulation of xanthine dehydrogensase gene expression and uric acid production in human airway epithelial cells. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 1;12(9):e0184260.
  12. Ahmadi S, Bozoky Z, Di Paola M, Xia S, Li C,Wong AP, Wellhauser L, Molinski SV, Ip W, Ouyang H, Avolio J, Forman-Kay JD, Ratjen F, Hirota JA, Rommens J, Rossant J, Gonska T, Moraes TJ, Bear CE. Phenotypic profiling of CFTR modulators in patient-derived respiratory epithelia. NPJ Genom Med. 2017 Apr 14;2:12.